Levi and I discovered the magical world of “Shrinky-Dink” paper this week. A few sheets were given to me as samples a while back and I found them recently when I was cleaning up my studio. I thought this would be the perfect activity for us to tackle during our “Mommy and Levi time” (aka Calvin’s naptime). Honestly, I don’t know who was more giddy about this project. Once we saw the paper start to crinkle in the toaster oven, I was giggling like a little girl who just got told a silly secret. As soon as they were out of the oven, we ran back to start on new ones.
Levi was excited to use the colored pencils (and of course the electric pencil sharpener too) and I loved to watch him to choose his colors and create his micro abstract works of art. As we worked side by side I was drawn back to the crafts of my childhood. I thought about the little Easy Bake Oven I had as a girl and how I loved to watch the light bulb “cook” the chocolate cake I would serve up to my brother and I for dessert. I remembered the friendship bracelets and the God’s eyes, the plastic embroidery canvases and Spirograph and the potholder looms.
There seemed to be such a purity to those crafts, not tainted in any way by ugly cartoon characters or branded by superheros’ faces. It seems that one can’t buy anything for kids these days that is not “commercialized”…everything is plastered with some type of Disney or Pixar franchised character. Which is part of the reason why I am so insistent on making items from hand as opposed to buying into the whole big “branded toy” thing. I digress. Anyways, I am happy to have those memories from my childhood and to share my love of pure hippy craft with my kids!
And speaking of hippy crafts…after the kids were in bed, I snuck out the last sheet of shrinky dink paper and created a sweet little hippy design of my own. I was thinking of old dish towels from the 70’s…olive green and ochre flowers with an orange crocheted trim. I was happy with the design, but for some reason when it was in the oven, it didn’t exactly flatten out all the way and has a bump in the center of it. Boo Hoo. Well, there will certainlly be some new paper making its way to our house as soon as possible. Thank God for Amazon!